Young Elected Politicians Programme  

The YEP annual Programme 2020 came to an end with EuroPCom 2020 - Time for Communica[c]tion (7-8 December 2020). The 2020 largest annual Conference on European public communication has seen YEPs participating in the different workshops, Ideas Lab, Talks that gathered communication experts to reflect on the roles of citizens in the EU democracy and Conference on the Future of Europe, innovative digital forms of participatory democracy and how to engage the public in ambitions for climate action.

As in the #EURegionsWeek2020, the YEPs have also contributed to the discussion with their projects and initiatives on citizen engagement. Mr Barabás Richárd, deputy mayor in Újbuda, Hungary (District XI. of Budapest), contributed to the Ideas Lab "How regions and cities mobilise" with concrete examples from an EU-financed project on urban innovation.

Would you like to go through the different activities that have been organised in 2020? Go to the section "Previous events" hereunder where you will find the replay of the sessions for each event.


About the YEP Programme

The Young Elected Politicians Progra​​mme (YEPs) is a network of politicians who are no older than 40 and hold a mandate at regional or local level in the EU.

The purpose of this network is to​​

  • exchange best practice among local and regional politicians

  • network with fellow young elected politicians from the EU in real life and on

  • understand and seize opportunities offered by the European Union for local and regional areas

  • speak for EU regions and municipalities in the European legislative process

  • gain visibility in European ​circles.

​If you want to become part of this network, you must

  • apply for the annual call of the YEP Programme that is published each year on this webpage;

  • hold a democratic mandate as an elected politician at regional or local level in a Member State of the European Union;

  • be no older than 40 on the first day of the event you participate in;

  • not be a CoR member or alternate;

  • have a good level of English (since, for organisational purposes, events will be held in English only)​​;

  • would you like to receive updates on the YEP Programme? Please fill in our form to express your interest​.

This time, 150 YEPs have got the chance to participate in a tailor-made programme​​​ with a number of exclusive sessions built around three key topics:

  • ​Future of Europe/Empowering citizens
  • Cohesion and Cooperation
  • ​Green Deal/Green Europe​

In addition, the YEP programme has included also a wide range of sessions handpicked from the European Week of Regions and Cities​ agenda.

Due to the current evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and taking into account the security and sanitary measures introduced by the Members States and in Belgium, this has been the  first "all-digital" edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities and the YEP programme.

Flash news from the #EURegionsWeek

Ms Anouk Gielen, young elected politician from the Netherlands, participated in the Opening Session of the #EURegionsWeek. As representative of the new generation of politicians, she contributed to the debate on "Cohesion for a Greener Europe" together with Apostolos Tzitzikostas (EL/EPP), President of the European Committee of the Regions and Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform.

The Closing Session of the #EURegionsWeek has also seen one of the YEPs sharing his view on how to build a more sustainable, democratic and inclusive Europe. Mr Georgi Krastev, young elected politicians from Bulgaria, shared his feedback on how to best support digital transformation, a greener and more gender equal Europe and the role of young local leaders in closing the gap between the EU and citizens.

The YEP Programme hosted the workshop "The path to gender parity in politics", where the official position of the CoR on the European Equality Strategy 2020-2025 has been presented by the CoR Rapporteur Ms Concha Andreu. Two YEPs, Ms Danae Thivaiou from Greece and Mr Mikey Sheehy from Ireland, have shared their experience at local level on how to enhance gender parity in politics.

Last but not the least, Ms Emma Murphy, a young local leader from Ireland, contirbuted to the discussion on how to innovate citizens' participation in structured forms of dialogue at local and regional level in the workshop "Innovating citizen participation" organised by the CIVEX Commission of the CoR.

The YEP Programme culminated with the YEPs Closing Session ​where young local leaders have presented their main takeways from the #EURegionsWeek and their feedback on this edition of the Programme.​​

The main sessions of the YEP Programme have been held during Week 2 (12-15 October) covering the three main topics of the EURegionsWeek.

Have you missed the YEPs sessions? No panic, the recordings are available below and on the #EURegionsWeek webpage:

Cohesion and Cooperation: For further readings

12 October: Cohesion Policy: rebuilding EU solidarity

- 13 October: What gender equality means at local level and how to achieve it

15 October: The path to gender parity in politics -> For further readings

Future of Europe/Empowering citizens: For further readings

14 October: The Conference on the Future of Europe: the role of local and regional authorities

15 October: Innovating citizen participation (CIVEX Commission)

"Europe in my living room" featured six YEPs sharing thoughts and giving insights on how local communities were affected and lived through the pandemic; how did they react and unite to put in practice concrete initiatives that made a difference. They also discussed what the future looks like after this crisis and the role of the EU to enable local communities to recover.

For more information please consult the event webpage​.​

The webinar "Gender parity in politics: the state of play" aimed at showcasing how regions and cities are moving forward gender parity and what are the best practices to increase women participation in local and regional politics.

Ms Concha Andreu, CoR Rapporteur of the Opinion "A Union for Equality: Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025" shared her view on the European Strategy on Gender Equality and highlighted the key role of local and regional leaders in the achievement of the objectives of the Strategy. Ms Jaimie Just, Policy Advisor on Equality and Diversity at the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, presented the key findings of the study Women in Politics: Local and European Trends"Ms Sally Kneeshaw, URBACT Programme Expert, gave an overview of the "Gender Equal Cities" initiative and shared best practices for local leaders on how to increase women participation in local politics and on gender-sensitive policy making at city level.​​ 

More information on the sessions and the recording of the webinar are available here​.

Young elected politicians – How is your region or city dealing with gender equality in policy making?

Brussels, 4-5 March 2020

EU Member States are committed to promoting the equal participation of women and men in decision making at all levels and in all fields by the European Pact for Gender Equality (2011-2020). However, women remain significantly underrepresented in local decision-making bodies across the EU. The latest Gender Equality Index from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) shows that the EU still has a way to go to reach gender equality in all areas. According to CEMR's 2019 study on Women in politics: local and European trends, only a third of political decision-makers in Europe and around 15% of mayors are women. The top f ive EU countries in terms of most women as local councillors are Sweden, France, Finland, Norway and Belgium. 

In April 2019, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) published its strategy for a gender balance  among its members. Following this first step, on the occasion of International Women's Day and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, the CoR would like to invite young elected politicians to express their views and recommendations on how to ensure equal participation in politics and decision making in all areas of life.  

Are you committed to ensuring gender equality in your region or city? What is your constituency doing to advance gender equality? What results have been achieved?

The CoR would like to hear of your experience, the solutions you have implemented and your recommendations on measures that should be put in place to eliminate individual, organisational and social obstacles that dissuade women from entering politics.

Programme of the event

This event has been cancelled due to the covid-19 situation.

The initiative "Young Elected Politicians United 4 Climate"​ took place during the CoR Plenary Session in Brussels on 3-5 December 2019. On 3 December, young elected politicians have been involved in three main "Participatory Workshops" on: 
  1. Renewable energy and prosumers
  2. Energy efficiency and circular economy
  3. Low-carbon modes of transport.​​​
The results of the three participatory workshops have led to the drafting of 8 main recommendations on how to accelerate climate action locally. The "Local Clima​te Action Footprint" has been handed over to the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz and to the Executive Vice-President responsible for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans on the occasion of the debate on the European Green Deal during the 137th CoR Plenary Session.​

Have you missed the session? The recordings are available on the links below:

​See how the young elected politicians delivered their message ​at the CoR Plenary Session!​

The selection​ of YEPs has been based on ensuring the best possible balance of nationality, regional and local representation, political affiliation, and on gender, for which the CoR is strongly committed to reach a balance.​

Useful links:
Flickr Gallery

CoR: the voice of cities and regions in the EU
Special Session: "Financing your energy transition"
- The Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Action


European Week of Regions and Cities, 7-10 October 2019, Brussels

In June 2019, the CoR launched a new call of expression of interest in taking part in the European Week of Regions and Cities (#EURegionsWeek) running from 7 to 10 October 2019. More than 700 applications were received over three weeks, leading to invitations going out to around 100 young elected politicians from all over Europe. The programme covered attendance at #EuRegionsWeek  key sessions, discussions with high-level Eu politicians, meetings with political groups represented in the European Committee of the Regions and many other networking​ opportunities.

​The five young elected politicians listed below ​have been among the speakers of the Opening Session of the #EURegionsWeek, together with the President of the CoR Karl-Heinz Lambertz, the EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and the Vice-President of the EP Klára Dobrev, ​contributing to the debate on the future of the EU:

Ms Miia Eskelinen-Fingerroos, City Councillor, Municipality of Kuopio, Finland.
Ms Laura Sparavigna, City Councillor, Municipality of Firenze, Italy.
Mr Vincent Chauvet, Mayor, Municipality of Autun, France;
Mr Kirsteen Currie, Councillor, The Highland Council, United Kingdom;
Mr Radosław Swół, City Councillor, Mielec City Council, Poland.​​



8th European Summit of Regions and Cities, 15-15 March 2019, Bucharest

In March 2019, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) invited 100 young elected politicians at local and regional level (YEPs) to take part in the 8th European Summit of Regions and Cities and discuss the future of the European Union and how to involve the citizens more effectively in the European project through local and regional authorities.

YEPs took part in several sessions of the programme​, in particular:

-  Welcoming event for Young Elected Politicians, moderator: Jennifer Baker, Brussels, Belgium;​​

- What young local and regional leaders expect from the EU- Part 1

- What young local and regional leaders expect from the EU - Part 2

- EU Regions and Cities building a sustainable future​

Tuscia (1).png

On 17 December, two Italian YEPs, Stefano Bigiotti, mayor of Valentano (IT) and Mario Fiorentini, Councillor of Valentano (IT), have joined forces with the CoR Member Sergio Caci (EPP/IT) to organise an online local dialogue with citizens about the geographical region of Tuscia.

The online Local Dialogue "Europe Starts in Tuscia" will discuss a plan on how to restart tourism after the pandemic through a model that can be applied to other regions across Europe.

Join this online local dialogue here with passcode 538959.

​More information on the event is also available on the CoR EPP webpage.

Would you like to know more about the "Future of Europe" campaign of the CoR? Visit the CoR webpage .

Logo of the Socialists and Democrats group

"Many young regional and local leaders are currently on the front line of the fight against a virus that knows no borders and against its social and economic consequences. It is difficult, dramatic and seems impossible, but if our communities react in a united way, we will be able to overcome this crisis together."

The CoR PES Group has organized an online event to discuss about solidarity examples implemented at local and regional levels as well as to debate with young local leaders about their ideas for the future of Europe.

The video recording of the event is now available on the event's website.

​​​Logo of the Socialists and Democrats group

Florence,  20 March 2020: Take part in the PES Group seminar on Workers’ Empowerment in the Green Transition

At the invitation of its Vice-President Enrico Rossi, President of the Tuscany region, the PES Group will hold a seminar on Workers’ Empowerment in the Green Transition in Florence. This event, organized in cooperation with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies, will debate about what a just transition and the European Union’s Green New Deal mean from the workers' point of view. It will also address the ways in which they can be supported and empowered through training, sustainable wages and safe working conditions.

The PES is delighted to invite a delegation of young progressive local and regional politicians to the event.

If you wish to participate, please apply via this link before 9 February:   

More information about the event is available at:

 Logo of the Socialists and Democrats group

"Progressive cities and regions are laboratories of innovation and, increasingly, they have also become places of resistance against populist and nationalist forces. Inside small towns and big cities alike, it is often young local leaders who are in charge of making change happen, by creating more sustainable communities, fighting the climate crisis and growing social inequality, and changing the way local democracy works."

The Party of European Socialists Group (PES) hosted more than fourty young progressive local and regional politicians from all over Europe for a two-day event, partly organised in cooperation with the Young European Socialists (YES) and the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament (S&D Group).

More information about the event is available on the CoR PES Group webpage

renew europe.png

Summit of Young Local and Regional Leaders

Following on from the success of its liberal Mayors Summits, the Renew Europe Group of the Committee of the Regions launched the "Summit of Young Elected Local and Regional Leaders", a platform to provide an opportunity for young liberal democrat local and regional politicians to meet and share ideas and best practice amongst themselves, and afterwards to meet with experienced local and regional politicians in a joint meeting with Renew Europe. 

Watch the highlights from sessions in 2017 and 2018.​​

Audiovisual material

 Flickr Gallery 
Directorate for communication
YEP Progr​amme Team​​​​​​​
Související informace
Regional Slang School
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